Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Selectman's Race

Selectmen’s Race

This year’s Selectmen’s race presents as complete a contrast in candidates as one could imagine. Incumbent and career politician James Mullen is being challenged by Kathy Fagan, an Attorney who has held elective office and numerous volunteer posts in Milton. This contrast is reflected in their respective campaigns.

Ms. Fagan’s campaign has sought to draw attention to long neglected problems and to offer ideas to address them. She understands that the long term quality of life in our town depends on our getting control of our financial situation. New sources of revenue other than overrides alone must be found. Ways to control the growing costs of government need to be part of the solution

She begins by advocating an updated Master Plan. You remember this phrase. It was much bandied about in last year’s campaign, even figuring prominently in the literature of John Shields. Absolutely nothing has been done. This is a crucial first step to identifying possible opportunities for diversifying our tax base in a manner consistent with our town character.

She also makes a very sound recommendation for a town-wide traffic plan. Consider the number of problem areas in town: Highland Street, Thatcher/Canton Avenue, the intersection of Adams, Canton and Randolph, the Fruit Center neighborhood in East Milton. We’ve taken a piecemeal approach to these locations, but need a comprehensive study to understand how they are related and what future steps we might need to take.

The Fagan campaign has offered many other ideas such as multi-year budgeting to avoid yearly surprises, and specific ideas for revenue enhancement and cost control. As important as anything else, she’s pledged to return civility and respect for all to the Milton public square. The many people who have meet Kathy during this campaign are struck by her decency and positive attitude, and her willingness to listen and engage on issues. The imperious and vindictive attitude currently characterizing town affairs must end.

The Mullen campaign, by contrast, is characterized by a near total lack of content. I haven’t seen a single idea proposed. There is no apparent clear understanding of what our problems are. Most striking, after 6 years on the Board of Selectmen the campaign has not claimed a single accomplishment in its communications to voters. Even his supporters seem to struggle for endorsement content. We’re told he loves the town. I’m sure he does. We’re told he’s experienced and has made countless contributions. Perhaps, but what are his plans for now, for the future? We’re not looking for philosophical platitudes. We’re looking for competence and ideas.

At this point in our history we require something more substantial than love of town, length of residency, and the ties to the old boy network as sole requirements for the job of Selectman. Ms. Fagan will bring energy, ideas, and a refreshing commitment to problem solving to the Selectman’s job. She offers a clear choice over an incumbent who has a lifetime of paid political service. And by the way, Kathy loves Milton too! I ask you to support Kathy Fagan on April 24. And I ask you to vote. This needs to be a choice of the entire town. If you stay at home, someone else will be speaking for you.

Planning Board

In this race Pete Jackson is challenging Dr. William Dolan. Dr. Dolan has served the town well for over 30 years as a Planning Board member. Such long service is admirable. But this is a town board that has had very little change in many years, with most current members working on multiple terms. I think its time for new energy and new thinking.

Pete is a landscape architect. He designs parks and is involved with planning and design of open space and recreational areas. He has served on both the Columbine Cliff Neighborhood Association and the Milton Village/Central Avenue Revitalization Committee. He has spoken eloquently and with insight at Planning Board Meetings, recently pointing out to the board a mistake in the drafting of an article dealing with the Milton Falls development.

Pete has already proven his value to the planning process in Milton and would make an excellent member of the Planning Board. For more information about him, click on his website under my links list. I urge you to vote for him next Tuesday.

Precinct 10 Town Meeting Member

After much deliberation and study, I’m endorsing myself for the two year seat for Town Meeting in Precinct 10.

For anyone wondering about my views or understanding of town issues I can only refer them to the nearly 70 articles I’ve published in the more than two years since I established this blog.

I confess that I’ve been busy during this campaign and have done nothing to campaign for the town meeting seat. Furthermore, my opponent has received the endorsement of James Mullen, not only current Selectman, but as Town Clerk the person in charge of Milton elections. Mullen apparently introduced her at his non-fundraising fundraiser and announced she was running against a “bad person”. This must be Mr. Mullen’s new way of describing people who have different views than his, a replacement for the term he used two years ago, those who were not “the real people” of Milton. I guess I’m a twofer.

All I can do is ask those readers of the blog who live in Precinct 10 for their vote, and ask other readers who know residents in the precinct to recommend me to them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Philip,
I wish I lived in 10 because I would vote for you in a heartbeat. I am so sick and tired of being called "those people", or being told if I want more retail of character in Milton I should move to Brookline. The old guard needs to step aside and let a breath of fresh air into our town politics. I will vote for Ms. Fagan and do what I can to spread the word. Keep up the good work.
CM Milton resident of 16 years.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only Mullen's campaign lacks content, his intention in running for re-election is based on some sort of false entitlement when he says that this will be his last run for office and that he wants to leave on his own terms...gimme a break!!!

It's not about his own terms anymore, that's the only claim he can make about his incumbency. Let's make it about Milton's residents own terms and get him out of office for once and for all on April 24.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how much more interesting would this blog be if it were a discussion of both sides of the story?

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the above comment, that's what this "COMMENTS" area is for. Instead of complaining about the blog, why don't you just post the other side of the story, as you see it, right here?

Other Milton residents are free to start their own blogs about Milton.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't making a complaint, it was a question - how much more interesting would this be if it were a discussion instead of one person stating an opinion and others agreeing with it?

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I gotcha. But part of my answer still applies. People with differing opinions could post them here. They just don't. Maybe they are not confident of their views. Or maybe they do not know how to post on a blog.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Lantigua said...

Mr. Mathews,

I'm not a liar. I'm only telling people what the numbers say. I put the proof on my web site www.lantigua.com. To make it easy for you or anyone else. Download the spreadsheet and take a look. I've set it up so it is simple to see.

I don't know how this happened. I'm not after Kathi per se. I only want to fix this and a few other issues.

Douglas Lantigua

6:59 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Phil - you're a "good person" and a "real Milton person" in our book -- how could anyone who puts the work into a blog like this be anything else?

If we could vote for you in Precinct 10 we would... keep up the good work.

Robert Davis
Candidate for Town Meeting in Precinct 5

10:31 AM  
Blogger Philip Mathews said...

Mr. Lantigua,

I downloaded your spreadsheet.

It doesn't support the outrageous claims you have made.

And please don't employ the strawman argument. I didn't accuse you of lying. I did point out that you are wrong. Your motivations only you truly know.

12:03 PM  

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